Elmhurst TMJ Dentist Explains How TMJ Disorder is Diagnosed and Treated

Written by Dr. Scharfenberg on Jun 25, 2012

Elmhurst TMJ Dentist Explains How TMJ Disorder is Diagnosed and Treated

Have you been suffering from headaches, jaw pain or neck pain? You may be dealing with Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMD) and not even know it! TMD often referred to simply as TMJ results when the temporomandibular joint is impaired, causing pain and stiffness in the jaw—among other symptoms. The symptoms of TMJ dysfunction often overlap with other conditions; so many patients live silently in pain thinking that their amorphous pain cannot be effectively treated.

The good news is that dentists can effectively treat TMJ problems and help patients live pain-free again. As a proactive patient you can alert your dental health provider if you notice any common signs of TMJ. The earlier this condition is diagnosed and treated, the less likely it is that you will suffer from long-term or irreversible complications.

So how can you recognize TMJ problems?

The temporomandibular joint is the joint that connects your lower jaw to your skull. This joint allows you to move your jaw up and down and side to side. If this joint is injured, inflamed, or irritated, a patient may experience any number of symptoms, such as:


·         Swelling around the face, jaw joint, and neck

·         Tenderness around the face, jaw joint and neck

·         Clicking or popping noises when you move the jaw

·         Limited jaw mobility—this may mean that your jaw feels “stuck” when you attempt to open it—especially when you attempt to chew and yawn

·         Headaches

·         Dizziness

·         Pain resembling a toothache


Once you notify your dental practitioner of your symptoms, you will receive a thorough exam to diagnose TMD. Our Elmhurst TMJ dentists for example, test the jaw joint for swelling and irritation. We can also utilize panoramic X-rays to assess how TMJ dysfunction is affecting your jaw mobility and overall dental health.  

With proper treatment TMJ problems can be alleviated, and many patients can resume normal functioning again. The goal of TMJ treatment is to minimize pain and discomfort while restoring a full range of motion for patients—allowing for normal eating, drinking, and speaking. Our Elmhurst TMJ dentists treat TMJ non-surgically with easy to use dental appliances. If you or someone you know has been suffering from TMJ dysfunction, know that there are effective treatment options for TMD that can fit in with your daily life. Give our Elmhurst TMJ dentists a call if you have any questions about TMD or you’d like to learn more about TMJ treatment options—just call (630) 733-1624.